Meltdown and Spectre Slowdown: Microsoft reveals how fixes will affect your PC

Meltdown and Spectre Slowdown: Microsoft reveals how fixes will affect your PC

Meltdown and Spectre Slowdown: Microsoft reveals how fixes will affect your PC

Which on one hand is great because if you've got an AMD chip and a non-compliant anti-virus package, although it may seem like you're being thrown to the dogs, you're actually avoiding having your machine borked more seriously.

Microsoft has reports of customers with some AMD devices getting into an unbootable state after installing recent Windows operating system security updates.

First reported on answers.microsoft.com, users have shared a bunch of cases in which Security Update for Windows KB4056892, Redmond's Meltdown/Spectre patch, leaves some AMD PCs with the Windows 7 or 10 startup logo and not much more. What is uncommon is that Microsoft is not merely suspending this update; the company has also outlined why.

Microsoft did not go into detail on which devices are causing issues and the statement refers all device-specific questions to AMD. According to the rep, the issue stems from AMD's documentation for the processors - which Microsoft used to ensure support for the patch - not lining with the physical reality of the affected chipsets.

The Meltdown bug pertains to silicon produced by Intel, while Spectre refers to vulnerabilities existing within all processors.

Meltdown and Spectre Slowdown: Microsoft reveals how fixes will affect your PC
Meltdown and Spectre Slowdown: Microsoft reveals how fixes will affect your PC

Intel continued to downplay the performance hits of these OS and firmware updates, stating that "based on our tests on SYSmark 2014 SE, a leading benchmark of PC performance, 8th Generation Core platforms with solid state storage will see a performance impact of 6 percent or less". The patch for Windows Server "shows a more significant performance impact", Myerson explained.

Apple Inc also released an updated version of its operating system software on Monday to fix the security flaw.

Last week, Intel called reports of the flaw's severity "wildly inaccurate" and said most people wouldn't notice any slowdown in performance after installing security fixes.

The problem was no doubt exacerbated by vendors rushing to ship even basic mitigations for the Meltdown and Spectre flaws (see Meltdown and Spectre: Patches and Workarounds Appear). This is an architectural issue and it can't simply be fixed with a patch.

Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday that software patches released to guard against microchip security threats slowed down some personal computers and servers, with systems running on older Intel Corp processors seeing a noticeable decrease in performance. Microsoft chose to be transparent today, with Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson addressing the issue head-on in a detailed blog post.

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